With a history of around 1,300 years, the Tamatsukuri Onsen area is home to an abundance of hot spring ryokan (traditional Japanese inns).
Among them is Hotel Chorakuen, which has been in business for over 150 years and is famous for its massive hot spring. The spa area’s water is 100 percent pure, free-flowing spring water and is known as “kami no yu,” or “water of the gods” for its supposed health benefits and purifying properties.
The Ryugu-no-yu bath is the pride of the hotel. The open-air mixed bath spans some 396 square meters and is the largest of its kind in Japan. By wearing designated bathing attire, guests can bathe together, regardless of gender, while surrounded by the verdant beauty of the garden.
The size of Chorakuen’s traditional garden is 33,000 square meters, complete with a pond, greenery and blossoms of the season, and white tamajari gravel; an atmosphere perfect for strolling through in a yukata (lightweight kimono). Special guest rooms are located across the garden, each with their very own private open-air baths.
Japanese kaiseki (traditional multicourse cuisine) is carefully prepared for guests, using seafood from nearby waters and the best of the season from the Izumo area. Dinner plans incorporating local Shimane-gyū beef are especially popular, with guests tucking into a divine combination of beef and local sake.
For those traveling westward, a stop at Chorakuen to wind down with friends and family in a sweeping hot spring wreathed in lovingly cultivated nature is a must.
ADDRESS: 323 Tamatsukuri, Tamayu-cho, Matsue, Shimane Pref.
OPEN: 3 p.m.-10 a.m.